Saturday, June 7

All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye - Christopher Brookmyre

Jane Fleming's life seems to have passed her by - once a hip, happening punk, her unexpected pregnancy saw her staidly married to Tom, a Catholic surveyor with a steady job and fixed ways. Now the mother of two fully grown children, Jane's plans to reshape her life - a course at night and then finally the university degree she deferred so long ago - are derailed by another baby, this time her daughter's. When a series of unlikely events throw Jane headlong into espionage and danger, Jane's motivated by the one thing that will have her stop at nothing - the safety of her family.
Very different from the previously reviewed The Sacred Art of Stealing, All Fun and Games is just as intricate and smart. Each section neatly dovetails into the next, each separate strand is seamlessly woven in, and every character is fully fleshed and unique. The influences are eclectic and diverse (from proto gaming's "you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike" to classical music) , there are satisfying scenes (like Jane's conversation with the owner of a 4WD she 'towed' after it was illegally parked outside Safeway) and amusing asides ("there was a helicopter tailplane visible behind the nearside of the house. Jane reckoned it safe to assume that the remainder of a helicopter was indeed attached, tailplanes on their own never having caught on as a garden ornament"), and a plethora of information about the ingenuity of Scots - without them we'd be living in the stone age.
The only caveat preventing me from whole heartedly recommending this book is my concern that you'll glut on Brookmyre's collected works, which will leave you heart broken that there's nothing left. Okay, that's more of a warning to myself! - Alex

No comments: